JAPANESE BROADCASTER KAYO WASHIO TALKS HANDLING PROJECTS & PRESSURE 0 236

As the head of US Operations for Japan’s version of HBO, WOWOW, Kayo Washio is used to working under pressure and alongside some of the biggest names in the business. With five projects currently in development, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with Kayo to talk about how much the broadcast industry has changed and continues to evolve, the acquisition she’s most proud of and her advice for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps.

TITL: What is it about broadcasting that encouraged you to make it a career path and how did you get started?

Kayo Washio: I have a relative who worked for the U.N. in New York City and was a licensed attorney who passed the New York State Bar. She was born and raised in Japan, like I was. Because of her, I wanted to be an international attorney, starting from the time I was in high school.  When I enrolled and attended University, I selected International Law as my major. While studying, I learned that law practice and enforcement has a lot of gray areas and I soon came to the realization that this was not the field I could spend a lifetime working in. At that time, while I was in the midst thinking of what I truly loved to do, I discovered a unique ‘unknown’ person who accomplished a remarkable feat, and thought it would make for a great interview feature for an outlet. I arranged a job interview for myself with a TV broadcaster to become a reporter/creator and to make a program for reporting on this great figure I discovered. In Japan, you don’t need to work for a company that relates to your major at your college, and this experience allowed me to begin working for WOWOW right after I graduated university.

TITL: It could be argued that, like film, the broadcasting industry is dominated by men. With that in mind, how much, or little, of a struggle has it been for you to pave your way and make a name for yourself as well as you have in recent years? Are you seeing a rise in the number of women joining the business and if so, does such please you?

KW: Having worked for an established ‘old guard’ type of Japanese company for about 20 years and working in Japan for about 15 years before moving to Los Angeles, I can say I have much more freedom and flexibility here in U.S. The entertainment industry in the U.S. is much, much, much less dominated by men compared to Japan.

There are many cultural and business rules in Japan that play into gender inequality. Some of you might realize that we exchange business cards by holding our card with both hands when we meet a new person – right at the onset of the meeting before having any conversation. The order in which cards are exchanged is important, and rules dictate that you should exchange cards with the person with the highest title, which in Japan is normally the oldest man. I’ve often seen the awkward situation here in the U.S. where senior executives try to exchange a business card with an American older male first, even if a female has higher position.

I understand it’s very difficult, but eventually I would like to have a society where we do not need to talk about these gender disparity issues. Like most, I just want to work with talented people who I enjoy collaborating with – regardless of gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, etc. Life is short and we are all one human race.

TITL: For those who don’t understand the way in which broadcasting and its companies work, what are the main objectives of your job as the head of U.S. Operations?

KW: Basically, the objective of my job is to secure the best content – films, TV series, special award shows, concerts, etc. – for our service in Japan. WOWOW has established and maintained tremendous relationships with studios, networks and content rights holders for about the last 30 years, which positions us well to make great acquisitions. Growing and nurturing these relationships in the U.S. is so important for a foreign company like WOWOW. I am diligent in trying to foster even more relationships through an open and transparent exchange of information with new companies on a daily basis and explore new relationships not only from the sales side, but also on the production side through our co-production projects. This all dovetails another very important objective – building the WOWOW brand name here in the U.S.

TITL: Is there one aspect of your job you like more than any other or do you just enjoy the different every day challenges that come your way?

KW: I love waking up every day to the opportunity of working with very talented creators and artists. These kinds of opportunities have motivated me to keep aiming high and stoke my passion for the next hit project! I’m always mobile too. I’m not a type of person who can sit in an office from 9-6 every single day.

In Japan, most companies have a job rotation system whereby every 3-5 years employees are transferred to a different department within the company and assigned new job duties without any reason. Because of this system, Japanese people are used to working with various titles. But here in the U.S., more value is placed on experience, expertise and relationships and how these are built over time by working in the same field. I very much prefer the American approach on this front.

TITL: WOWOW is essentially the Japan version of HBO – how do you feel about the comparisons, and would you agree with them?

KW: While there is a difference in brand name recognition worldwide, where HBO is bigger and more widely recognized, I think HBO and WOWOW are alike in that the two companies strive to be the preeminent suppliers of premium content.

Comparing WOWOW with HBO is not an apples to apples comparison though. The base systems are different. In Japan, people don’t need to pay any fees to watch network TV and many households still do not carry cable nor satellite. WOWOW as a business is not worried about chord cutting in the same way HBO and other television channels have been, but are intelligently adapting to now. Viewers would have been able to subscribe to WOWOW directly since the launch of our service in 1991.

Systems aside, when it comes to programming, I think WOWOW has similar programming selection criteria to HBO, and that is a great thing for audiences who expect the best quality of movies, TV series and events. As a premium pay television service, we would like to show only best quality content from all over the world to our subscribers. For example, we broadcast movies that have had great box office results in Japan from all major studios and also great quality movies from all over the world such as awarded films at film festivals.

WOWOW curates the best content in each area. We have aired four major tennis tournaments, since we consider them the premiere tennis events; licensed the best American shows every year; produced top original documentaries and TV series, which were created with very talented Japanese creators and Japanese artists; and started doing co-productions five years ago to produce our original programs with international creators and artists.

TITL: Your job has allowed you to work with Martin Scorsese and executive produce his documentary “The New York Review of Books: A 50 Year Argument.” How did you get involved with that project and how did you find working with such a highly respected individual?

KW: It was through my relationship with a sales agent whom I worked with on the documentary “Cathedrals of Culture.” She informed me that Martin Scorsese was coming to Berlin at the time I was there for the World Premiere of ‘Cathedrals”, and that he would be giving a presentation about his next passion project. So naturally, I rearranged my travel to attend his presentation and began thinking about ways to structure working together. I had twice interviewed Martin before, for my program in Japan, but of course this was a totally different interaction and I was very excited about this opportunity.

Martin Scorsese is fascinating and truly brilliant. I don’t know how he handles all the things he has going on in his world. He remembers every detail of everything he has seen and done and knows how he should handle every deal and circumstance!!! His knowledge of movies is second to none. For example, I learned quickly that he has more knowledgeable of Japanese films and Japanese directors than me. I was also fascinated with the fact that he doesn’t create any walls between himself and newcomers in the business. He treats everyone equally – with respect. That says a lot about his character and composition. I really hope I can join another project of his again in the near future!

TITL: You’ve also handled negotiations for projects involving Robert Redford, Wim Wenders and others. Given the pressure you must feel in those situations, how do you stay focused and relaxed? 

KW: In these situations my feelings were more of excitement than pressure! I of course knew all about the legendary Robert Redford and Wim Wenders before I started to work on the project. I just felt that if I joined their project, I would rather enjoy the experience and be fully immersed and contribute rather than be shy and passive! One thing I’ve always kept in mind since the first day I started as a producer is that I want all people who work with me to want to work with me again, even after challenging times like a hard negotiation or having creative differences. This is my goal for everybody who has worked with me. I hope they felt that way too.

TITL: Is there any one of projects/acquisitions you’re particularly proud of? If so, which is and why?

KW: Producing a film or event is so difficult that I feel a great sense of accomplishment with all the projects I have had the privilege to be involved in, and am proud of every one! If I have to single out one project though, I would say a small mini-documentary about Baz Luhrmann was especially gratifying for me. This was a passion project of mine in 2003 and WOWOW at the time couldn’t understand why I would produce this particular documentary. But I felt it was necessary for me to introduce our subscribers to Baz Luhrmannn’s vision and his unique way of thinking, as well as the people surrounding him in his private studio. I really felt this program would inspire WOWOW viewers and encourage them to purse their dreams.

I remember telling my boss at the time that I would put my own money into producing this program, but I needed to have a slot for broadcasting it. In the end, I got a very small budget approved by WOWOW, which is still the lowest budget I’ve ever had to work with, and we made a great documentary. To this day, I watch this program whenever I have difficulties because it reminds me where I came from and encourages me to enjoy the process, even if it’s very tough, to achieve my goals.

TITL: Are there any projects or negotiations underway you can tell me about?

KW: This is a very exciting time at WOWOW as I have five projects currently in development. I can’t reveal many details just yet, other than to say they will all be narrative features. I think audiences will be excited when we make the announcements very soon!

TITL: With the rise in social media and illegal streaming sites, are you finding your job any harder to do in terms of being able to get a good deal for clients and broadcasters who fret about audience figures and the like?

KW: This is a great question. The situation stemming from evolving technologies definitely costs us more than before and forces us to spend much more time dealing with agreements and recognizing and addressing new technology related components. Generally speaking, Japan is as advanced technologically as any nation, but it seems our problems and the serious issues that arise are at a lower volume compared to other technically advanced countries.

TITL: What advice would you give to anyone looking to follow in your footsteps and aim for a career such as yours? What three things would you say they need in order to get their foot in the door?

KW: You have to be strong enough and confident enough to really be yourself and should try to enjoy every step of the journey to realizing your dreams. Everyone’s experiences and encounters will ultimately be useful. Life is like a circle! Now you might see your experiences and encounters like many dots, but in the near future these dots will be dot-line and then will be continuous line!

Three things are 1.) Really get to know yourself well – meaning know your strong points, what you are best at, and also your weak points. 2.) Don’t be afraid to take chances, but be well prepared to take chances since you don’t know when they come 3.) Building trusting relationships with people you would like to work

TITL: Finally then, where do you see the future of broadcasting going in the years to come, and what would you most like to see the industry take on board/bring to fruition for both those in the industry and TV/film fans?

KW: One thing that never changes is that “great content” has staying power. It will live on forever. The only thing that will change is how it is consumed – from a big screen to a small watch. Talented PEOPLE have, and will be, the key to the creation of great content. AI cannot create content with the warmth of people. We have to keep creating great content but consider which type of content to fit which type of media.

For more information on WOWOW, visit the website

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I’M A CELEB 2019: CAMPMATES REVEALED 0 36

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is back which can mean only one thing…

Leaving their plush pads and luxuries far behind, our celebrity campers will spend up to three weeks taking on the harsh surroundings of the Australian Jungle, with a whole host of brand new nasty surprises created just for them.

The ten celebrities heading into the Jungle for the new series are:

Ex footballer and broadcaster – Ian Wright MBE
Pop star – Nadine Coyle
‘Rak-Su’ singer – Myles Stephenson
Radio 1 DJ – Adele Roberts
Comedian – Andrew Maxwell
Soap Star– Jacqueline Jossa
Capital Radio DJ – Roman Kemp
Olympian and TV personality – Caitlyn Jenner
Ex England rugby player – James Haskell
TV and radio presenter – Kate Garraway

Whoever does end up in the terrifying and legendary Jungle camp will find themselves cut off from the outside world and praying the public doesn’t send them straight into a dreaded Bushtucker Trial.

Who will be crowned this year’s King or Queen of the Jungle? Find out this Autumn on ITV.

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will present all the big stories live from the Jungle every night.

And remember – I’m A Celebrity…Extra Camp is back every night on ITV2 with a brand new presenting line up directly after the ITV show.

IAN WRIGHT MBE (EX FOOTBALLER & BROADCASTER)

Phobias: Some of those things [snakes, rats and creepy crawlies] will make me squirm but I will deal with them when I am in there!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: I am going in as me and I am not going in to try to be anything different.
Role in the camp: Help out with all the activities.
Miss most: Aside from my family, football.
Dream camper: Someone who has knowledge and wisdom.
Missing any special occasion: Football punditry work commitments
Relationship status: Married

Arsenal and England football legend Ian Wright reveals he sought the advice of his friend and former winner, Harry Redknapp, after deliberating over whether to finally accept an offer to appear on this year’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

Ian – who is now one of TV’s best-known football pundits – says he has rejected countless approaches in the past because he felt there was too much jeopardy involved.

But after being impressed by Harry’s efforts in the Jungle last year and seeing the camaraderie formed around the campfire, he decided he’d love to take part in what he describes as a ‘brilliant family entertainment show’.

“When I was first approached this year, we thought about it for ages as it is not something where you think ‘ah I will do that’,” reveals Ian, who is also affectionately referred to as ‘Wrighty’.

“I have been asked to do it every year and every time, I have always thought I am definitely not doing that because there was more and more jeopardy involved. “But I think the last series was one of the best I have seen in respect of camaraderie.”

“Harry and I play golf together and we spoke about it. He had a really great time, it was a fantastic thing for him to do and he is still talking about it to this day!”

“Now it does appeal to me at this particular time. I like the vibe, it is a really cool show and I am really intrigued.”

And the 56-year-old reckons that now he has signed on the dotted line, the ‘football fraternity’, especially fans of Spurs who are his former club’s arch rival, will be voting in their droves for him to take part in the trials.

“The football fraternity will be watching,” admits Ian. “Not only do they want to see me do well but for the ones who may not be so keen on me will want to see me go through stuff that they would never dream of!”

“And it’s the Spurs fans opportunity to get me back! I’ve caused them so much heartache (in the past)!”

Readily admitting he will find the lack of technology and small food rations tough, Ian says he is going to miss being able to catch up on the latest football games terribly.

“I am definitely going to miss football. I don’t think I have ever been in a situation where I have been that isolated from the game in my life.”

“I am also going to miss my family. I speak to my missus every day and it’s going to be a test.” A very easy-going person, Ian says he will help around the camp as much as possible and try to make sure there are no major fallouts. “I am not going in to be an entertainer or cook,” he stresses. “But I will help where I can. I think things will happen naturally and you will deal with it.”

“Snakes, rats and creepy crawlies are also not the kind of thing I would have in my bedroom! Some of those things will make me squirm but I will deal with them when I am in there. And to be honest, I am trying not to think about it too much because if you do, you could tie yourself in knots!” Swamped with work, Ian stresses going on the programme is not to boost his profile. “I am in a position where everything is going really well,” he adds. “I’ve got some great things with football, England, the Premier League. I don’t need people to like me! Whenever I come out, I am working again.”

As for whether he thinks he can win or not he admits it would be the icing on the cake if he was crowned the winner. Says Ian: “The prestige of becoming ‘King of the Jungle’ is great kudos. You have seen how popular Harry has become but you can’t go in trying to win. People watch the show and they see different qualities in everyone that they like or may not like…”

NADINE COYLE (POP STAR)

Phobias: Heights, rats, snakes – everything!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: There’s nothing I can think of. This is so outside my comfort zone!
Role in the camp: Cook and someone who is there to help with chores. Miss most: My daughter, Anaiya.
Dream camper: Nadiya Hussain – she would be great for cooking us meals.
Missing any special occasion: No
Relationship status: Single.

Former Girls Aloud singer, Nadine Coyle, has revealed she signed up for I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in a bid to dispel her fear of trying anything new.

The 34-year-old explains since she became a Mum to her daughter, Anaiya, she has lost her gutsy attitude and become quite fearful of simple things in life like flying.

And by signing up for I’m a Celebrity, she hopes stepping outside her comfort zone will give her renewed confidence.

“I really want to try something completely new. I am scared of so many things. I used to be brave. In the past, I’ve opened a restaurant, had a record label, had my daughter and it was go, go, go with all of these. Now I have got so fearful even being in the car, flying or general things. I think it is since I became a parent that I am much more afraid.”

“I really hope that by doing this, it pushes me so far out the comfort zone and that I learn to be comfortable, feel relaxed and do the things that I didn’t used to be afraid of.”

Admitting she feels like it is a surreal dream now the day is fast approaching when she enters the Jungle with the other celebrities, Nadine says she is dreading being apart from her daughter. If she doesn’t get voted out first, it will be the longest they have been apart. “I have been away for ten days for work before but not longer,” she says. “I am dreading being away from everybody and not being able to phone and say ‘how are you doing?’ ‘How is my daughter?’.

“I am excited but it also feels like a dream still. I know it is going to be a whole different story when I get out there!”

She hopes her experience of running a restaurant will prove helpful in the camp when it comes to cooking meals even though she has never actually lit a fire outside before. “There is going to be so much new stuff to learn,” she explains. “I’ve never boiled water on a fire, chopped firewood, slept outside – I do hope I learn stuff about me and it’s the next phase.”

Recently single again, Nadine isn’t sure how she will cope surviving on beans and rice. “I think I am very typical (of lots of people),” she says, “If you go too long without stuff then horrible things can happen. My personality goes straight out the window! I am one of two personalities – I go quiet by trying to conserve the energy and the other is raging and going ‘noooo’!”

Her family, she goes on to add, have mixed emotions about Nadine’s decision to do the programme. “Some of my friends and family were really shocked,” she admits. “They asked me what I was doing and pointed out I was afraid of my own shadow! But I am just hoping my Jungle lady will come out!

“My sister’s husband is an ex marine. He did offer to do some marine training with me in the run up to it but I thought that was a bit too extreme!”

I’m A Celebrity is Nadine’s first big TV project but she stresses she is not doing it to further her career. “What I like about this is people are relying on you and it’s such an amazing opportunity,” she adds.

“And I am not even going there when it comes to the idea of winning! I have no Jungle experience and I can’t even imagine myself being in it.”

“I just want to enjoy it all. I am the middle sister in my family and so I do think I am good at being neutral in these kinds of situations. I hope I can help anybody in any way I can…”

MYLES STEPHENSON (Rak-Su Singer)

Phobias: Bugs and spiders – I have to get my family members to get rid of them for me!

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: Nothing. I am a pretty normal person. I even go to the shops in my PJs!

Role in the camp: Cook

Miss most: My PlayStation. I love gaming!

Dream camper: Sir Elton John. I admire him so much and he’s a Watford boy too.

Missing any special occasion: No

Relationship status: Single

He is one of this year’s Jungle bachelors but RakSu star, Myles Stephenson, has ruled out finding romance in the Jungle.

Smiling, the 28-year-old insists he wants to embrace single life and he definitely doesn’t want to find love under the stars.

But the 2017 X Factor winner says he can’t wait to get stuck into camp life on I’m a Celebrity and meet his idols – Ant and Dec.

Myles says: “Going on I’m a Celebrity is going to be so much harder than doing The X Factor but I am so excited. I have watched it for years and it is something I have always wanted to do.”

“I am a massive fan of the show and Ant and Dec. They were the reason I was a Newcastle FC fan initially growing up! Spending time with them and potentially people you have idolised over the years is so exciting.”

On finding love on the show, he adds: “I am single. I have just got out of a relationship but I think I want to be single for a bit and embrace single life!”

Describing himself as a ‘passionate’ cook, Myles promises to give it his best shot when trying to rustle up food from basic rations.

“I love cooking and I cook every night if I am not touring,” he reveals. “My favourite meal is Beef Wellington or West Indian food. You don’t get much to mess around with in the Jungle but I will try my best.”

Little food won’t be a problem either for the pop star. “I am alright on little food,” he explains. “If I am in the right mentality, I can work perfectly fine with minimal food as I am used to it. Obviously it is a totally different environment in the Jungle though!”

Listing Sir Elton John as his ideal campmate, Myles laughs as he admits he may well burst into song to try and lift everyone’s spirits. “If I am in a good mood I will definitely sing one of my songs,” he chuckles. “I will try and keep up everyone’s spirits. It would be nice to entertain. At the same time, I will be respectful to everyone if they want quiet time.”

But the upbeat star admits he doesn’t know how he is going to cope facing the trials – particularly as he is scared of bugs and spiders. “I know my family are going to be wetting themselves laughing watching me do Bushtucker Trials. Anything involving small confined spaces or bugs is going to be hard!”

“And it’s going to be so weird not being able to call someone. I will miss my PlayStation so much too. I am passionate about gaming.”

He says his Rak-Su band mates can’t wait to watch him. “I know they will vote to try and make me do the trials,” he adds. “They are really supportive and they totally understand. I would love to stay in the band but if other opportunities come along my way as well after this, you have to take it by the scruff of the neck. They would do the same. I would never hold them back.”

And whilst he admits he is a very competitive person, he says he wants to embrace the experience rather than going all out to win it. “This is about team work,” he explains. “I want to embrace the moment. Of course it would be a dream come true to be crowned ‘King of the Jungle’ as this is such a big TV programme and I know it would mean a serious amount to my friends and family.”

“But I am just excited to be a part of it! I feel a winner already to be on it and it feels so surreal. I am a pretty normal person who goes to the shops in my PJs! I can’t wait.”

ADELE ROBERTS (RADIO 1 DJ)

Phobias: Spiders – I am so petrified!

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: I can’t think of any

Role in the camp: Cleaner and I’ll set up a pretend radio studio in the camp to inject some fun

Miss most: My girlfriend, family and music – a day doesn’t go by when I am not listening to it

Dream camper: Rita Ora – she is amazing

Missing any special occasion: My Dad’s birthday and he doesn’t know yet that I am going in the Jungle!

Relationship status: Has a girlfriend

Radio 1 presenter, Adele Roberts, readily admits she will fall to pieces if she spots a spider around the Jungle campfire.

Adele – who has hosted the BBC’s early morning show for more than four years – says her phobia of the eight-legged insect is so bad that she has to have cedar blocks around her house to prevent them from daring to enter it.

“I’ve only camped once and that was the worst night of my life,” she reveals. “I hate spiders. If I see one, I can’t speak, I freeze and I do this weird thing where I wring my hands together!

“I don’t know where it has come from but as I have got older, I have hated them more and it has now got to the point where I have to have cedar blocks in my house!”

“I am not too fussed about anything else but I have never even met a snake and so I don’t know how I am going to react! It’s the same with rats. On paper, they are cute but in real life they might be massive!”

Asked whether she has contemplated being hypnotised to quell her fear of spiders before she enters the camp and Adele replies: “I should! But I feel you are in there with people who are willing you on. I am hoping that will push me over the line and attack my fear rather than being controlled by it.”

Incredibly excited to be fulfilling a lifelong ambition to appear on the programme, Adele is the first celebrity to view the Jungle as a chance to have a lie in. Sleep deprivation, she explains, won’t be an issue given she has spent the last four years getting up at 2am to host her early morning show on Radio 1.

“My show is on so early, we have to make our own fun and so I have got some games we can play if I feel like we are getting bored.”

“I am thinking that I might make a little studio in the camp and draw a line. When people cross over the line, they are in my studio and I will interview them (like I do on my radio programme).”

A very non-confrontational person, Adele is predicting, however, she will burst into tears. “I get emotional when I don’t have food,” she reveals. “There will be some tears! But I am hoping to learn lots about myself when I am in the Jungle.”

“If other opportunities do come my way, I want to make the most of them rather than ignoring them.”

Laughing, Adele also promises if she does get crowned ‘Queen of the Jungle’, she will walk around with the winning crown forever more. “Wow if that happened, I would never let the stick go,” she adds. “I will carry on wearing the hat for the rest of my life!

ANDREW MAXWELL (COMEDIAN)

Phobias: I don’t like the look of any of those guys – the insects and creepy crawlies!

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: Nothing – I am just going to be myself

Role in the camp: The person who cleans out the toilet every day and who collects the logs

Miss most: My wife, children, beer and football

Dream camper: Geoff Capes

Missing any special occasion: Other than my stand-up gigs, no

Relationship status: Married

Stand-up comedian, Andrew Maxwell has put insects on his face to help him prepare for life in the Jungle

And despite being a self-confessed news junkie, the 45-year-old also reveals he is glad he has the perfect excuse to miss listening to the politicians in the run-up to the general election.

Andrew explains “I am a massive current affairs junkie but to be honest, even I have had enough (of politics!). I will still vote in the general election but the idea of missing all the guff because I am doing a Bushtucker Trial does tickle me quite a bit!”

“I am really looking forward to being in Australia and being part of this year’s I’m a Celebrity. It was a no brainer when they asked me and I said ‘yes’ immediately.”

“In fact on the day of my meeting, we were clearing out our basement at home and there was a spider. I picked it up and put it on my face for a bit of practice!”

Rather than worrying about being away from his home comforts like technology and his bed, the comedian says he loves the idea of being in one place for a month. “My life is touring,” he adds. “And so the idea of not having to go to an airport, train station for a month…wow! That will be nice.”

“I also think you just have to accept the food rations as it is. My whole adult life has been on the road. It means you miss out on meals, maybe even two, and you just have to soak it all up.”

Asked whether he will try and entertain his fellow contestants with some stand-up routines and it’s a resounding yes. But he also laughs as he declares he is more than happy to be the ‘person who cleans out the toilet and collects the logs’.

“My littlest is two and so I am still in the world of wiping away poo anyway,” admits the Dad of three. “I have a long-standing reputation as someone who is willing to clean out the toilet in my mate’s caravan after a three day music festival too!”

Andrew confides the hardest challenge will be being separated from his wife and three children. “We speak every day and I will miss them a lot,” he says. “Half the worry is knowing how they are. But they will be able to communicate with each other and look after each other and they will know where I am!”

So is doing I’m a Celebrity tougher than performing a stand-up gig? Andrew thinks both are equally challenging. “They are both hard, “ he replies. “Every time you walk out on stage, you have no idea what you are going to encounter! You walk through a magic door! And with I’m a Celebrity, you are going to have creepy crawlies on your face!”

He says his family find it ‘hilarious’ he is taking part this year and he thinks his fellow comedians will also find it funny when they discover he is going in the Jungle.

“My family will definitely be voting for me to do the trials. They find it hilarious.”

And how will he feel to be crowned the ‘King of the Jungle’? “I will be really chuffed if I win,” he replies. “But with something like this, it is so much more pleasant to live the experience. Yes it will be uncomfortable, wet and there will be mosquitos and spiders but what an amazing opportunity this is.”

JACQUELINE JOSSA (SOAP STAR)

Phobias: Insects, creatures, spiders – everything

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: I think some people see me as a pushover or doormat – I am not.

Role in the camp: Shoulder to cry on

Miss most: My children, husband, family and social media!

Dream camper: Jamie Oliver would be wicked. He would be able to cook in the camp

Missing any special occasion: No

Relationship status: Married

Former EastEnders actress Jacqueline Jossa reveals she is looking forward to a phone detox in the Jungle as she predicts her soap friends will be shocked to discover she is a contestant because she ‘doesn’t do creatures’.

And the 27-year-old – who quit in 2018 as Lauren Branning in the BBC1 drama after eight years – also admits the toughest part of taking part in this year’s I’m a Celebrity is going to be entering as herself rather than as a fictional character.

“It’s going to be so difficult going in as me and that’s definitely going to be the hardest part,” says Jacqueline. “I have never done a show where I have been myself.”

“And I am also scared of everything – especially spiders! They are the worst, there will be tears!”

“My old colleagues on EastEnders are going to be shocked. I don’t think they can imagine me in there. I don’t like creatures. It is not my thing.”

“I have also never done rock climbing, jumped out of a plane or camped in my life. I am not that kind of girl.”

“But having said all that, I am really excited. This is something completely different and it’s going to be a totally new experience.”

“I am also looking forward to not being on my phone and Instagram all the time. It will be a detox for me.”

The TV actress also hopes to dispel some misconceptions about her. “I think people think I am a pushover or a doormat,” she explains.

“I also think some people pity me. I want to show I am fine, I am up for a laugh and that I will go for it and try my best.”

A mum to two young children, Jacqueline readily admits, however, she is going to find it very tough being separated from them. “This is definitely the longest I have ever been away from them and that is going to be really hard,” she says.

“I didn’t know how to face even telling them. In the end, I thought the best idea was to say ‘mummy is going away for work’ and I would see them soon. My family is so close-knit and I will miss them all terribly

What does her husband, ex TOWIE star Dan Osborne, think about her decision to take part? “He thinks I am going to be good,” she replies. “He is excited and he’s coming over to meet me when I come out.”

As for her role in the camp, Jacqueline thinks she will be a shoulder to cry on but the actress warns she doesn’t know how she will cope with little sleep and food. “I can get hangry,” she admits. “I do love my food but I am going in with an open mind. It’s also going to be great getting to know everyone and if I lose any weight, I won’t mind. I will put it back on at Christmas anyway!”

Asked how she would feel if she won this year’s I’m a Celebrity and Jacqueline replies: “Obviously I would love to win but you don’t go into it wanting to. This is one of those shows where you come out feeling proud of what you have done.”

“If doing this programme opens doors for me then that would be so exciting. There are loads of things I would love to do, both acting and presenting.”

ROMAN KEMP (CAPITAL FM DJ)

Phobias: Cotton wool and I won’t like trials in the dark

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: I am always referred to as Martin Kemp’s son so it would be nice for everyone to get to know me a bit better

Role in the camp: The person who will do all the jobs nobody wants to do

Miss most: My parents and my girlfriend

Dream camper: Thierry Henry – I am a massive Arsenal fan!

Missing any special occasion: Other than my breakfast show, Capital Radio’s Jingle Bell ball. I have never ever missed it before

Relationship status: Dating

He is happy to crawl around with spiders and creepy crawlies but put Capital Radio’s Roman Kemp in a coffin with cotton wool and he will most definitely freak out.

Laughing as he readily admits he has some ‘strange fears’, the breakfast show DJ reveals it would be his worst nightmare if there were a new Bushtucker Trial involving his big phobia – cotton wool! “Some of the fears I have got are odd. I have got a strange fear of cotton wool. Why am I scared? It’s the texture and sound of it. I can’t even talk about it without getting scared and I definitely can’t touch it!”

“I don’t know when this fear first started but the only way I can describe it is like a nail going down a chalkboard – it has that effect on me. I hate it so much that if I am in a coffin with cotton wool, then that is going to be the worst thing ever for me!”

“I am fine though with things like insects and spiders!”

A huge fan of I’m a Celebrity, Roman says he wants to throw himself into every aspect of the show – whether that is helping with the jobs nobody wants to do like fetching fire wood or cleaning out the dunny.

“I am not scared of the eating trials because I grew up with Dad’s cooking! I think the eating ones I will hate but I will do them. The show is iconic and you want to do everything.”

His Dad is, of course, Martin Kemp. Roman’s mum is Shirlie Kemp. So what do they think of their son taking part in I’m a Celebrity?

“My Dad loves it,” replies Roman. “He is ready to find the worst freeze frame possible of my face and put it out on social media! Mum will say she hates it up until the day I get in there. Once she sees the show, understands it and grasps I am in there, I think she will be alright. She is really nervous though!”

“But I love this programme so much. I love it when it kicks off with the first show and you see Ant and Dec arrive.”

“I will be happy to get rid of social media but the thing I will miss most is speaking to my parents and my girlfriend.”

He says he hasn’t even thought about what it would feel like to be crowned ‘King of the Jungle’ but he thinks his colleagues at Capital Radio will laugh out loud when they discover he is one of this year’s contestants. “We have been on lockdown at work in the run up to this,” he adds. “But of the people who are aware of it, they can’t wait to see how much of an idiot I will be!”

CAITLYN JENNER (OLYMPIAN & TV PRESONALITY)

Phobias: None but like everyone, insects do gross me out

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: To show I am exactly the same person as I have always been

Role in the camp: To be there for everyone in the camp and to help with chores

Miss most: My family, friends, house – everything!

Dream camper: Kanye West ‘he is a good friend of mine and he’s good to have an intelligent and interesting conversation with’

Missing any special occasion: Thanksgiving

Relationship status: ‘I have lots of friends’

American TV star, Caitlyn Jenner outlines why she has taken on the challenge of TV’s toughest Entertainment show, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! – and she predicts it will be tough.

“I did the US version of this and it was a very interesting experience last time I did it,” explains the star

“Being in the Jungle is certainly not easy and yes, it is totally back to basics but I thought this would be a great opportunity to leave everything behind for three weeks. Last time, it was almost like a cleansing of the soul!”

Readily admitting she will find dealing with her fellow contestants the toughest part of doing I’m A Celebrity, she thinks her second time in camp will be a very different experience.

“Dealing with other people is by far the hardest thing,” she explains. “It’s much more difficult than dealing with the most poisonous snakes in the world. That’s easy – just stay away from them!”

“You can’t get away from the other people and it will be a very different experience for me. Last time, I did it with a bunch of people from the States who I knew of. This time it’s a bunch of people from the UK who I potentially won’t know. But I love going over to the UK, I love the British people and I am looking forward to making some new friends, new allies and getting through it all.”

Eating rice and beans is not, however, an issue for Caitlyn who describes herself as the type of person who is happy to muck in with all of the camp chores. She also promises to be on hand to solve any arguments

“I am definitely a peace maker and I do think I bring people together. I am also very handy making things and I am good at boiling water. I will also keep the fire going and when it starts raining, I will make little streams to go outside the camp rather than through it!’

Asked if she is scared of heights or any animals and Caitlyn reveals she doesn’t have major phobias but she does concede the idea of insects crawling all over her whilst sleeping ‘grosses her out’.

Caitlyn has ten children, including Kylie and Kendall Jenner. She is also related to Kim Kardashian who is the daughter of Caitlyn’s former wife, Kris. So what does her famous family think about Caitlyn going on I’m a Celebrity? Laughing, she says they did ask her why she wanted to do it but stresses: “I said, you know what, I need a break, I like challenges.”

To be crowned ‘Queen of the Jungle’, adds Caitlyn, would be a big validation that she had made the right decision to do I’m a Celebrity again.

“I hope the UK loves me!” she says. “I will go into the Jungle with a good attitude and a good sense of humour.”

JAMES HASKELL (EX-ENGLAND RUGBY PLAYER)

This image is strictly embargoed until 22.30 Monday 11th November 2019 From ITV Studios I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!: SR19 on ITV Pictured: James Haskell. This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms For further information please contact: james.hilder@itv.com / 0207 157 3052

Phobias: I’m not going to tell you!
Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: I’m going in the Jungle to have a fun time but I’ve always done this lad bravado kind of thing and actually I am really different
Role in the camp: I will help around the camp with all the jobs
Miss most: My wife, technology and not being able to read a book
Dream camper: Idris Elba
Missing any special occasion: No
Relationship status: Married

Former England rugby union player, James Haskell, admits to having ‘big shoes to fill’ if he wants to emulate the popularity of his famous in-laws – Richard & Judy – on this year’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

But the 34-year-old says the chance to take part in the award-winning ITV series came at the perfect moment after his rugby World Cup dreams were dashed earlier this year when he had to retire due to injury.

James – who enjoyed a 17-year career that saw him play for England, Wasps and Northampton – admits: “A lot of my team mates had said in the past ‘wouldn’t it be fun if you went into the Jungle’ but I always laughed as a) I thought nobody would approach me and b) I thought I was going to be in the World Cup but I retired sooner than I thought!”

“And so to be asked is such a special opportunity. You will get to test yourself in amazing surroundings and find out a little bit more about yourself. I am excited.”

Going on to reflect on his wife and in-laws’ reaction to the news he was going in the Jungle, he adds: “ I have a fantastic relationship with them (Richard & Judy) and they are very supportive. They are massive fans of the show and they will be out in Australia.”

“Chloe, my wife, thinks it is fantastic too. She is really excited and I think she will love it. But I will miss her a lot. We have been inseparable for five years and we speak two to three times a day.”

“It will be a massive change (not being able to chat to her) and I think I will end up talking about her a lot.”

Desperate to keep a lid on what he is frightened of – ‘my poker face isn’t very good and so you will work out pretty quickly what I am terrified of’ – the sportsman has already tried fasting for a day to see how he will feel. “It was pretty horrific,” he says, laughing as he does. “I managed to go 24 hours without killing anyone and so that was ok but you just do not know how your body is going to react (once you go in). You also don’t want to make a fool of yourself either!”

He says he will definitely muck in with all the jobs and he may even try and train in the Jungle. But he knows he will divide opinion. James says: “I am very aware I am like marmite – you either love me or hate me. I created this persona amusingly for jokes about being a lad. But I am not like that at all. I am not going in to try to change perception. I just want to have fun!”

He does, however, concede it is going to be tough at times. Asked whether doing I’m a Celebrity will be harder than playing a rugby game he replies: “The mental side of things can be very tough and I am going in with an open mind. I also think there will be an expectation that I will be good at challenges as maybe I look the part physically but I might be absolutely terrified!”

As for how he would feel to be crowned ‘King of the Jungle’ and James replies: “It would be unbelievable. But I just want to enjoy it all.”

KATE GARRAWAY (TV & RADIO PRESENTER)

Phobias: Spiders, heights, being in a box covered with snakes – I am terrified of absolutely everything

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: Nothing, I want to go in the Jungle and fly the flag for the older woman

Role in the camp: Cooking for everyone

Miss most: My family and not being able to check the news headlines about the latest Brexit developments

Dream camper: The Queen – she would be the best campmate in the world!

Missing any special occasion: Lorraine Kelly’s 60th party and Richard Arnold’s 50th party!

Relationship status: Married

Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway hopes her fear of heights, insects and bugs in the Jungle will give the nation a laugh and provide much needed light relief from the Brexit political wrangles.

And the 52-year-old news junkie jokes she is going to ban everyone in the camp talking about whether Britain should ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ in Europe. Says Kate: “I am a news junkie and I can’t remember a time when I haven’t read a paper or even when I am abroad, watched the news on a TV or your phone. But maybe one of the joys of doing I’m a Celebrity will be not talking about Brexit! Maybe that could be this year’s thing and nobody is allowed to talk about Brexit because I have been talking about Brexit since the year before the referendum!”

“I am terrified of all of the things in the Jungle, especially heights – it is the crazy heights on thin bits suspended on bits of metal or wood. Or if you are in a little box with creepy crawlies or snakes in it!”

“But I am excited about doing the show because as you get older, you realise you don’t get many chances for pure adventure in life. I am going to give it a good shot and everyone can have a laugh and I hope it takes their mind off Brexit!”

Readily admitting she isn’t sure how she will fare with any of the challenges, Kate reveals her two children, Darcey and William, were also partly responsible for why she has decided to take part in this year’s I’m a Celebrity. “They are partly responsible for me doing it because they love the show so much,” she explains. “I don’t think they think I will be able to do it. Derek, my husband, is also excited about me doing this.

She says her GMB colleagues will have a shock when they find out she is taking part especially as she kept it a secret from them beforehand. “I can’t trust them to keep a secret,” she says as she explains why she didn’t tell them. “But I do think Ben Shepherd is going to be beyond delighted when he finds out as for years he has said ‘OMG I’d love to see you on the show. You are just so hilarious and I think you will be good’.

“He thinks I will be incredibly useless and I know he will have great pleasure seeing me squirm.”

Asked what role she will play around the campfire and Kate reveals she is ‘quite a good cook’. “But I think one of the worst crimes is probably to burn the rice when you are only given a little bit”

She isn’t sure if she will get emotional during her time on the programme but she insists the boredom won’t bother her. “I think that will be the fun bit,” she declares. “It’s a chance to get to know your campmates. I do like to talk! I am looking forward to getting to know everyone.”

“I’d love the Queen to join us in the camp! She’s so strong and tough, she’d take no nonsense! Everyone would be so gripped by her stories that you would never get bored. She would be the ultimate campmate but I think she might be a bit busy

Does Kate see herself as Queen of the I’m a Celebrity Jungle? “Oh gosh that is not what it is about for me,” she replies. “This is about having an amazing adventure. It’s not going to happen…Let’s not dream!

STRICTLY 2019: CHRISTMAS STARS REVEALED 0 35

Six of the most-loved Strictly contestants from previous series are returning to the dance floor for an all-star Christmas extravaganza special, coming to BBC One on Christmas Day.

This year the ladies set to sprinkle some Christmas magic on the dancefloor are Chizzy Akudolu, Debbie McGee and Gemma Atkinson.

Chizzy says: “I am so excited to be coming back to Strictly this year, and being able to get back on the dancefloor once again! I’m still the biggest fan of Strictly so it’s wonderful to be back with old friends, in front of and behind the camera, and hopefully some new ones for Christmas. Bring on the sparkle, and maybe an odd 10 – it is Christmas after all…!”

Debbie says: “I thought all my dreams came true two years ago when I was asked to do the series, but to be one of the rare people to be invited back to do the Christmas Special is the icing on the cake. I can’t wait to be back dancing with my Strictly family”.

Gemma says: “I had the absolute best time on Strictly and it completely changed my life so I am absolutely overjoyed to be returning to the dancefloor this Christmas with a new challenge, and of course to be back with the gang!”

The gentlemen set to rock the dancefloor are Joe Sugg, Mark Wright, and Richard Arnold.

Joe says: “I’m really excited to have a go on the strictly ballroom floor again this Christmas. Strictly feels like a home away from home for me so I will be giving it my best shot and ending the year on a high.”

Mark says: “It’s been a while since I was on the dancefloor but I’m very much looking to forward to dusting off the dance shoes for Christmas! I can’t wait to be back – let’s get going!”

Richard says: “I can’t wait to get back out on the dance floor and throw shapes beneath the glitter ball once again. I just can’t promise you’ll recognise them or that they’ll be in any particular order. What I can promise is that one of us will be a professional.”

Each of the six couples will perform a Christmas inspired routine in a bid to be crowned Christmas champions 2019.

Hosted by Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the show wouldn’t be complete without the festive foursome on the judging panel: Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Bruno Tonioli and Head Judge Shirley Ballas.

The judges will be on hand to score each couple and spread some cheerful joy, yet it will be down to the studio audience to vote for which dancing duo will win the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special 2019 and lift the famous Silver Star trophy.

The professional dancers and pairings will be revealed in due course.